So I’ve always loved tom yum goong, but never tried making it myself. So when I saw a tom yum recipe on the high heel gourmet’s blog (http://highheelgourmet.com/2013/04/25/tom-yum-goong/) , I was really motivated to make it myself! Hers looks delicious and authentic.
I then made tom yum goong on two occasions following her recipe and found that its not only tasty but really healthy as well! Just look at the ingredients:-
Ingredients (for two), adapted from: http://highheelgourmet.com/2013/04/25/tom-yum-goong/
4 full stalks of lemongrass (I used 5… or more depending on whether I wanted to finish em all)
5-6 Kaffir lime leaves
Galangal, peeled and sliced thinly, 4-5 pieces (for a 1.5 inch diameter knob of galangal), or 7-8 for a smaller knob – I think its a good idea to smash it a little, to release the flavour and smell
Shrimp or prawns with head and shell – I might have used 300g cuz there’s no such thing as too many prawns *Greedy*
1 can of Straw Mushrooms, these variety of mushrooms are the best kind for tom yum in my opinion
Fish sauce 2 tablespoons
6 cups of liquid in total ; Water/soup stock/coconut milk with 1 cup in reserve. I used 1 young coconut which gave me 2 cups of coconut milk which I find essential as an ingredient in tom yum soup. Without coconut milk I feel like there’s something missing and it doesnt turn out as aromatic
Salt, as needed (Prob 2-3 tsps according to your taste)
Spring onions, cut about 1/4” long, 2 tablespoons
The green parts of the spring onion, 5-6 “leaves” for tying the bouquet garni if you don’t have a string designated for cooking
Cilantro, cut about 1/2” long, (saving the top leaves for garnish) 2 tablespoons
5-6 pods of chilli padi/birds eye chillies
Nam Phrik Pao 3-4 teaspoons (I didn’t use this, but perhaps I should have!)
Milk 1/2 cup (I used 3-4 tbsps when I thought the chilli was going to kill me from the level of spiciness…it helped to neutralize it a little)
Tomatoes 2-4 medium size, quartered (I used about 2)
Young coconut flesh (Unfortunately I ate mine so it never made it in to the soup)
Rock sugar 2-4 crystals (Just to eliminate the slightly unpalatable taste from the herbs, not enough to make the taste sweeter)
1) For big prawns like the ones I’m using here, peel them, leaving the heads intact. De-vein the prawns and keep all the shells.
If you are using shrimp (smaller-sized prawns), pull the heads off alongside the shells and save them, also then deveining them. Set them aside.
2) Boil the 6 cups of liquid before adding the shrimp/prawn shells and shallots, and over the course of cooking, add water or stock as needed.
3) Meanwhile, boil another pot of water. This is where you’ll blanch your spring onion leaves so that it becomes malleable and you will be able to tie the bouquet garni with it. Blanch until soft then remove immediately.
4. Crush the lemongrass along the stalks and slice them lengthwise. Peel the galangal and slice it thinly. Tear the kaffir lime leaves towards the main stem, leaving the stem intact to keep them attached. Lay the blanched spring onions as below and place half the lemongrass on top, followed by kaffir leaves, galangal, more kaffir leaves and the rest of the lemongrass. Tie all of them into a bouquet garni so it doesn’t float all over in your soup.
When you’re done, cut the bundle down the middle (please make sure that both sides are equally secured by the spring onions) so it fits into your pot.
5) Season the soup. The high heel gourmet (a.k.a. Miranti) says that first we must get the salty aspect right. First, add the fish sauce, followed by some salt. When you’re happy with the saltiness, drop the rock sugar into the pot (Always handy to have some crushed ones ready at hand, its easier to apportion and cook). The rock sugar is meant to offset the bitter taste of the herbs. Then you taste the soup again to ascertain if more salt is needed.
6) Take out the shrimp shells and leave the bouquet garni.
7) Increase the heat to high again. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, young coconut flesh if you have it, and the prawns/shrimp.
If you want your Tom Yum to be quite hot and spicy, you can add chilies right now, but if you want it somewhat spicy but not over the top, you add them later once its done boiling.
8) Let it come back to a boil, then turn off the heat right away. At this stage you can add the Nam Phrik Pao, crushed chilies, lime juice, and milk if you like.
9) Garnish with green onion, a slice of lime and cilantro.
It was yummy and really simple to make!
Much thanks to the high heel gourmet for her meticulous recipe and cooking instructions (though I’m afraid I might have deviated here and there and not done her much justice):
Adapted from High Heel Gourmet’s recipe. Hers is the real deal though 😉
So for my next bento, I did a Naruto Kyaraben seaweed art. Again, I used the same tools as before but its easier this time around as the ingredients required for the seaweed art is only cheese and seaweed. I thought ikura would be perfect for giving him that volcanic bubbly nine-fox demon effect so I added that in as well. It helps that I love ikura 😉
So first, you draw an outline of your bento so you can draw your design within these boundaries. And then you draw your character, emphasizing on the black areas. You will cut out only the white bits. I think I shot myself in the foot by finding a drawing so intricate that it was difficult to cut the white bits properly T___T
I put some rice into the bento, topped with seaweed and placed the slice of cheese where I wanted it. I’m not sure if it was a lucky mistake that I placed the cheese on the rice while it was still hot! So basically my cheese was warm and sticky such that anything that stuck to it cannot be removed! Therefore if you mess up the placement of the character here, its all ruined! On the bright side, the seaweed is more adhesive and very unlikely to fly away.
Once you’ve stuck the seaweed character onto the cheese, build your bento! Ikura against a dark seaweed background lends a little mystery to the overall effect 😉 and the tiny yellow tomatoes were just there to contrast with the smaller ikura.
Time taken to complete: 1.5 hours